Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 6, 2010 / 19 Teves 5770

Handicapping our qualification-challenged protectors

By Jack Kelly

>



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There were more red flags in the system about the underpants bomber than at a May Day parade in the old Soviet Union.


A State Department spokesman said Monday the embassy in Nigeria sent multiple cables about Umar Farouk Adulmutallab to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) after his father went to the embassy in November to warn of his son's radicalism.


Also Monday, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed that MI5 had shared with American intelligence officials a dossier which included Mr. Abdulmuttalab among Muslims in Britain who had sought contacts with known extremists.


Yet Mr. Abdulmutallab was permitted to board a Northwest Air Lines flight in Amsterdam, bound for Detroit. Blunders as big and potentially catastrophic as this typically result in howls for someone's head.


"Somebody is going to have to pay the price for this," said Andrea Mitchell of ABC News.


Ms. Mitchell's candidate for the chopping block is Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NCTC, whose job it is to connect the dots, and then to disseminate warnings to security agencies, reports directly to him.


A popular candidate is Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a result of her bizarre assertion on the Sunday talk shows that "the system worked."


This is not the first time Ms. Napolitano has made a fool of herself.


Shortly after assuming a post for which she had no apparent qualifications, Ms. Napolitano declared the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. through Canada (they hadn't), and asserted that illegal immigration isn't a crime. She even banished the word "terrorist" from Homeland Security's lexicon. Acts like those Mr. Abdulmuttalab tried to perpetrate were henceforth to be referred to as "man-caused disasters."


To these two candidates could be added Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, the architect of the NCTC system which failed so miserably, whose appearances on the talk shows last Sunday were nearly as unnerving as Ms. Napolitano's had been the week before.


But the real culprit may not be these individuals, whatever their failings (which, in Ms. Napolitano's case, are immense), but Congress.

Letter from JWR publisher


It is Congress which, after 9/11, created the vast bureaucracies they head. And it is the bureaucracies more than the individuals who head them that are responsible for the failures.


The are three fundamental problems with bureaucracy, in ascending order of importance.


First, they waste a ton of money.


Second, they diffuse responsibility. By creating layer upon layer of management, they make it difficult — and sometimes impossible — to hold someone accountable. People perform better when they know what their job is, and when they can be rewarded for success or punished for failure.


Third, they delay action. When the people who do the actual work of the agency have to go through several layers of management to get permission to do what it is they do, time — and often critical opportunities — are lost.


But creating or expanding a bureaucracy is Washington's response to every crisis, despite abundant evidence bureaucracies make the problems they are supposed to "solve" worse.


The Department of Homeland Security wouldn't work even if it had somebody competent running it. It's too big, and contains too many disparate elements.


The 9/11 attacks made it clear we needed a much better system of border control. This meant merging and streamlining the Immigration and Naturalization Service (which controls the entrance of people into the country) and the Customs Service (which controls the entrance of things). But it was a mistake to include the Transportation Security Administration, and a bigger one to include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose primary responsibility is recovery from natural disasters.


The CIA failed to connect pre-9/11 dots in large part because it is heavily bureaucratized. (Roughly 90 percent of CIA employees work in the U.S.) The first DNI, John Negroponte, added a bureaucracy of 1,500 on top of this, a bureaucracy which has now failed even more conspicuously.


Bad ideas — such as treating terrorism as a law enforcement problem — can lead to tragedy. So can having people like Janet Napolitano in critical positions. But bad organizations have consequences, too.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles